For those of you who have ever been to my house, on your next visit, you might notice something. (For those of you who haven't, this post might not quite do it for you.) Notice anything funny about the angle of this picture taken? Yes, that is our kitchen. Yes, there used to be a wall there.
In an effort to get more natural light into the kitchen space, Ma decided to sacrafice my old bedroom. Step one: pour through accumulated crap stashed in closet. Step two: remove wall. Step three: clean up. (That pesky drywall dust gets everywhere.) Step four: enjoy the open space created and the light allowed in. Everyone that has seen the change has approved. Here it is from another angle.
|Friday February 2 2007||File under: pics|
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|I like watching movies. Whether they are mindless Hollywood action blockbusters or quirky independent films, I usually enjoy them. I've often been accused of poor taste in movies, but I like to think of it more as an indiscriminate palette. How's that for a euphemism?
Anyway, while I was on that other continent over there (you know, that big one with lots of people), I fell behind on the whole movie scene. Even before that, the commuter lifestyle I led didn't really lend itself to free evenings to rent a movie or two. Now that I have nothing to stop me and the weather is still on the "stay inside" side of warm, I hereby declare February to be a movie marathon here at Chez du Wren. I've been keeping a list of movies I want to watch (or re-watch) for some time. First features: Princess Mononoke and Little Miss Sunshine.
Anyone in the area looking for a night at the pseudo-cinema, drop me a line and join me. Anyone not in the area, leave a comment with any movies I simply mustn't miss. (Scary movies need not apply)
|Thursday February 1 2007||File under: movies|
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|Alert ESPN. Someone call Will Shortz. The results are in from BdWs first officially sponsored event, the Word Racer Meet Up. The results are: FUN!
Four states from 3 time zones were represented by the full house in social lounge 6, including the trifecta from Jamaica Plain, MA. It was fast paced action with great performances by all. Highlights included "quieter", "sunset", "molten", and "emoted" from the Great Finds category. For Comical Inclusion, "shat", "booty", and "hooty" all deserve a mention. "Veg", "hoy", "wen", and "cole" top the list of Words I Didn't Know Were Words. As for the I Could've Sworn Those Were Words category, we'll leave those for insiders only.
A big thanks to all those who participated! Keep an eye out for WRMU II soon!
|Tuesday January 30 2007||File under: events|
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|I've been on a bit of a carless kick recently. I'm essentially experimenting with what life would be like for me without a personal car. I consider it a goal to aspire to for environmental, consumeristic, financial, and simplicity reasons. But for now, I am just investigating.
This weekend, I undertook the ambitious goal of going from Anacortes to Seattle on all public transportation. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem as I have done the same thing on weekdays a number of times. (If you ever need to figure out a carfree way to go from Anacortes to Seattle, talk to me. I know them all.) But since the commuter buses I used to rely on for my north to south jaunt don't run on the weekends, I was forced to seek out a new route. And a new route I found, although it is not what you would call convenient. For those fellow public transportation geeks out there, here's what I did:
Island Transit 411W March Point to Mt. Vernon (free)
Island Transit 411C Mt. Vernon to Stanwood (free)
Community Transit 240 Stanwood to Smokey Point ($1.25)
Community Transit 201 Smokey Point to Lynnwood Park and Ride(free with transfer)
Sound Transit 511 Lynnwood Park and Ride to Seattle ($1.00 with CT transfer)
Total travel time was about 4 hours, plus 20 minute or so to bike out to the March Point park and ride. Total cost was $2.25. I'm glad I did it to prove it is possible, but my final conclusion is that it might be worth the extra $10.00 to take the greyound therefore saving 2.5 hours. Either way, I'm counting it a success for my experiments in carlessness!
|Monday January 29 2007||File under: transportation|
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|Hey, I've got an idea: Let's play word racer! Come on. It'll be fun. You know you want to. It may sound nerdy, but it is a hoot.|
Social Lounge 6
For those of you unfamiliar with the game, it is very similar to boggle, but on the computer playing with people around the country/world. To get started, go here. You'll need a yahoo account, but they are free (and the best free, web-based e-mail around). Then click on Social Lounge 6. Then wait for me to invite you to our table. If you haven't played before, it might be good to get a few practice rounds in before Monday.
So, leave a comment on this post with your username if you are going to be joining us so I can know who to invite in. Yeehaw!
|Saturday January 27 2007||File under: meet-ups|
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|I've lived in Anacortes a long time now and I feel that I know it pretty well. I can tell you where the best pizza is (Village, of course), how many stop lights there are (13), and the best hike (depends on the weather). But it isn't often that I get to play tourist in my own town.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to do just that. A friend was visiting from the East Coast who had never properly seen Fidalgo Island. (Passing through to the ferry totally doesn't count.) We got to see Deception Pass, Cap Sante, Burrows Island lookout on the WaPa loop, the funny house down by Matt Kanarr's old house, Whistle Lake (with so many new downed trees!), Causland Park, and much more. Some of these I happen upon in my daily life. Others I rarely visit. All of them take on new dimensions when seen through non-resident's eyes.
Being exposed to the beauty that is Fidalgo Island on a daily basis can sometimes cause me to forget how spectacular it is here. Anne's frequent "This is so beautiful!" helped remind me to take a step back and appreciate this beautiful place in which we live.
|Wednesday January 24 2007||File under: Anacortes, pics|
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|With all my free time these days, I've been trying to get as much reading in as I can, although the pile of yet-to-be-read books seems to get larger rather than smaller. Being that I am a hopeless listmaker, I have a number of book related lists that I keep. I have a list of every book I've read since the beginning of high school, which is always good for a browse whether to remind you of an old favorite author or if a friend is looking for reading suggestions. But one of my favorite book related lists to browse through is my quotes list. When I read, I try to keep a pen and paper near by to record memorable quotes. I then transfer them to the master list kept in my computer.
In the interest of fun, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites here. Please feel free to share one of your own. Please note that I don't necessarily support or reject this ideas presented. I just found them interesting.
|Saturday January 20 2007||File under: books|
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|It is quite amazing how just talking to one person about what they do can so influence some people. It happens to all of us. Well, to my friend, it happened to be a professional blackjack player that did the influencing. Being the kind of guy that supports his friends in any endeavor, whether level-headed or not, I scheduled us a trip to the casino. In preparation, he sent me this link to start practicing, a great online blackjack game with tips.
Well, luck was on our side from the get go. Tuesdays are Senior Tuesday out at Northern Lights Casino with lower table limits, raffle prizes, and more. While you don't have to be a senior to enjoy the fun, if you're not a senior, you're going to be outnumbered. All my casino experience to date has been with the slot machines (mostly penny slots). I've always looked in awe at the confident table gamers, hoping that maybe someday I will work up the courage to join them. Today was that day. Dave and I found a table with a $1 minimum and said, "hit me". Well, it turns out they only say that in the movies. That was to be the first of many lessons learned.
After an hour and half at the tables, I walked away only $1.50 down, while Dave was up $10. Disregarding the $10 I lost on the slots, not bad for a couple hours of entertainment. Is anybody up for some blackjack next Tuesday?
|Wednesday January 17 2007||File under:|
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|The world in which we live is a pretty spectacular place filled with all sorts of wondrous things. To see some of these things, both man made and natural, are among the reasons I like to travel so much. Often, seeing pictures doesn't come close to relaying the beautiful and awesomeness as does being there in real life.
Throughout my travels, esp. when in proximity to some especially wonderful place or building, the conversation often turns to The Seven Wonders of the World. I've yet to meet someone who can name all of them (without the help of the internet). It was amidst one of these converstations that I got to thinking about the wonders of the modern world.
Well, it turns out I am not alone. Days after I had this conversation, I ran across this site on one of the blogs. It is accepting votes on what should be included on the new seven wonders list. Unfortunately it requires signing up for something which makes me think it is some promotion or something, but the concept is good and browsing the nominations is very interesting.
Perhaps the best site I've seen on world wonders is Hillman Wonders of the World. This list contains 100 wonders and is good for killing a whole afternoon's worth of productivity. I've visited to 26 of the wonders, 8 of which were in this last trip. How many have you been to?
|Tuesday January 16 2007||File under: travel, links|
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|For anyone that lives or has spent a winter in either the midwest or the northeast, you can pretty much discount this post. Us northwesterners have a slightly different sense of cold. So when it snows (for the second time in a winter!) and there is still ice on the roads 4 days later, that is something of note. So I shall note.
Billy the snowman still guards our front door, although he has already started his eventual journey to the ground. He is also missing a face, for which I put the blame on either mischievous neighbor kids or hungry crows. Our water feature (a.k.a. pond) in back of the house has some great ice on it but still keeps plodding along. The earlier heavy rains caused a bit of a flood at Smiley's Bottom which has now frozen over and turned into a great ice sliding spot. (We northwesterners don't really have ice skates as they would only get used even less than once in a blue moon.)
Luckily I'm in a place to enjoy the snow, cold, and ice how it should be. I've got nowhere to go (and even if I did, my car isn't agreeable to taking me). The cold even makes some things better. Last night, for example, I had the pleasure of a dip in a hot tub under the clear cold sky. A scandinavian style roll in the snow made it that much more refreshing.
So to Jack Frost, I say this: Keep up the good work!
|Sunday January 14 2007||File under: misc|
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